26 September 2023

CSNSW celebrates the power of libraries

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Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) is celebrating Library and Information Week this week (25-31 July) and the positive impact that libraries in correctional centres have on inmates’ rehabilitation.

Manager of Library Services at CSNSW, Rebecca Bollen Manalac said library facilities helped reduce idle time while promoting education.

“Books help keep offenders engaged to encourage good behaviour but can also inspire learning, goal setting and positive communication,” Ms Bollen Manalac said.

“Access non-fiction and legal texts is also important for inmate rehabilitation to improve literacy, keep them in touch with society and provide them with skills to prepare for life on the outside.”

She said the most popular fiction genres among inmates were fantasy, science fiction, mystery and crime thrillers.

“For non-fiction, it’s self-help, health and fitness, popular psychology, biographies, travel and cooking,” Ms Bollen Manalac said.

Commissioner of CSNSW, Kevin Corcoran said CSNSW’s modern library service reflected the theme for Library and Information Week, Rewrite. Renew. Reimagine.

“The Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre Library in Silverwater maintains a central collection of books in languages other than English, lent to other centres as required,” Mr Corcoran said.

“The most borrowed multicultural book, Hayatus Sahabah, is among the collection, which contains 20 languages including Mandarin and Cantonese, Vietnamese, Hindi and Arabic,” he said.

“We’re proud to provide a regularly refreshed and widely accessible library as a tool for learning and rehabilitation,”

Mr Corcoran said CSNSW had a significant library collection for information and recreation, “which can guide offenders to live life by the book post-release.”

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